Canada P2: Hamilton doubles up
Lewis tops tight session, as Button restricted to final 15 minutes
By James Galloway. Last Updated: June 8, 2012 9:04pm
Lewis Hamilton: The man to beat at the end of day one
Lewis Hamilton completed a clean sweep of fastest practice times on Friday afternoon in Montreal, but there was little to choose between the top teams at the end of an incredibly competitive day one.
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Hamilton, desperate to become the seventh different winner in as many races this season on Sunday, followed up his fastest time from the morning session with a best lap of 1:15.259 to edge out the impressive Ferrari pair of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who both made late improvements on the same supersoft compound.
Ferrari's latest apparent step forward - Alonso ended up a mere 0.054s adrift of Hamilton despite having earlier spun across the grass - bodes ominously well for the Scuderia ahead of qualifying on Saturday, but with just seven tenths of a second separating the top 13 at the end of day one predictions for the remainder of the weekend remain very tough to call.
To underline that point World Champion Sebastian Vettel capped a solid Friday for Red Bull to take fourth, the German just 0.272s shy of Hamilton, with Force India's Paul di Resta another to overcome a spin to take a very impressive fifth place for Force India.
Having completed all of 12 laps in the morning owing to an oil leak, Jenson Button was a spectator for all of the final 15 minutes of the second session as McLaren raced to complete what were lengthy repairs to his MP4-27 after an additional oil problem was detected and the gearbox had to be changed.
Once eventually back out onto the circuit, Button managed to try out both types of tyre during the course of his 14 laps and ended up ninth fastest, half a second off team-mate Hamilton's pace.
Kamui Kobayashi again ran strongly to take sixth for Sauber, ahead of Mercedes' Michael Schumacher and the other Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, as the morning's second-fastest man Nico Rosberg slipped to 10th.
Monaco winner Mark Webber finished outside the top 10 for Red Bull, but perhaps more concerning was the continuing unspectacular pace of the Lotus cars which both ran over a second off the pace in the midfield.
Meanwhile, Bruno Senna's recent travails continued as he became the latest driver to crash into the infamous 'Wall of Champions' with around 40 minutes of the session remaining.
The Brazilian, overshadowed by Williams team-mate Pastor Maldonado in recent races, brought out the red flag when he lost the back end of his car over the first kerb at the final chicane and slammed into the outside wall backwards, before the front came round to equally destructive effect.
Having fitted a new curved rear wing to his car earlier in the day, the accident was far from ideal but Senna later confirmed to Sky Sports F1 that the team did have a further replacement wing of the same specification he could run on Saturday.